Acknowledgement (Form C7) - is the form the respondent uses to tell the court that they have seen the application about the arrangements for the children.
Acknowledgement of service – the respondent ‘acknowledges service’ when they reply to the court (usually by filling in and returning a form) agreeing that they have received the application about the children.
Allegation - a claim that someone has done something wrong.
Applicant – the name given to someone who applies to a court for a court order.
Application – how you ask a court to do something.
Bundle - an information pack that pulls together all the information and evidence relevant to the case in one place. It makes it easier to refer to information during a hearing.
C100 form - the application form that starts the process of asking for an
order about the arrangements for the children.
Cafcass – Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. Cafcass operates in England.
CAFCASS Cymru – CAFCASS stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. CAFCASS Cyrmru operates in Wales.
Cafcass officers (sometimes also called family court advisors) – are specialist social workers whose job is to help parents agree the arrangements for their children (where this is possible) and write reports for the court about the needs of children.
Child arrangements orders – an order which sets out the arrangements about who a child is to live, spend time or have contact with and when.
Confidential contact details Form C8 - the form you fill in if you don’t want to reveal your contact details (your address, telephone number, email address) or the contact details of your child or children. Form C8 is just for the court – so they know where you are and how to get hold of you. The information you give on it will be kept secret unless the court orders differently.
Directions on issue - instructions given at the very beginning of a case telling you what to do and when.
Dispute resolution – this refers to ways of sorting out disagreements without going to court. It includes methods such as mediation and arbitration.
Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA) – this is a court hearing which takes place towards the end of the court’s involvement in your case. It gives you another opportunity to see if you can sort out your disagreement with the help of a judge.
File – you file something at court, for example legal forms or documents, when you either take or post them to the court office.
First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment (FHDRA) – the court hearing which takes place at the beginning of the court’s involvement in your case.
Hearing – the name given to a meeting with a judge or magistrates.
Issue – officially start court proceedings.
Litigant in person – this is what the law calls you if you represent yourself in court proceedings without the help of a solicitor or barrister.
Notice – a notice is a bit like a letter. They are the way courts tell you what is going on and what you need to do next.
Notice of hearing - this tells you that a court case has started and when and where your first meeting with a judge will take place.
Order for directions - this is a list of instructions telling you what to do and when.
Party – this kind of ‘party’ isn’t about balloons and dancing. It’s a person or group of people forming one side in a dispute.
Pre-action – before court proceedings start.
Proceedings – court action taken to settle a dispute.
Respondent – this is the name given to the person or people you have to give a copy of your application for a court order to. A respondent can then reply (respond) to your application.
Serve – delivery of court documents, usually by post. In some circumstances, the courts also allow delivery by email.
Settle – sort out the case with your ex or other family member by reaching an agreement.
Statement – this is a written summary of the background to the disagreement, any recent events that have caused the application and what should happen in the future.
Statement of issues - an issue is something you disagree about. A statement of issues is a brief summary of what you want the court to decide for you because you can’t agree them with your ex.
Welsh Family Proceedings Officers - are specialist social workers whose job is to help parents agree the arrangements for their children (where this is possible) and write reports for the court about the needs of children.